Working Paper Series

FCEA Working Paper Series

The FCEA Working Paper Series is a platform for expeditious sharing of new and evolving knowledge in the emerging field of climate engineering. Working Paper Series papers disseminate the work of physical scientists, social scientists, legal scholars and policy makers. Detailed submission instructions can be found here.  

Putting Costs of Direct Air Capture in Context: This working paper provides an overview of various estimates and claims on direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide, and places them in a broader context of global climate policy. Unlike other techniques of climate engineering, DAC has received significant attention from startups since its main issue is deemed to be the direct implementation cost (not side effects or social concerns), which could be significantly reduced with successful innovation. Publicly available sources demonstrate that there is a huge range of cost estimates with three orders-of-magnitude differences, with the upper end on the order of 1000 USD/t-CO2. Cost values reported by private companies tend to be lower than academic estimates, though there is no a prior reason to believe that either is inherently biased. In light of this huge uncertainty, the only way to resolve it may be to build an actual plant at scale, as a leading scholar put it. It is nevertheless important to monitor technological progress since climate policy analysis would increasingly require such cost parameters and because technology understanding would guide policy of research and development of this nascent technology. A periodic review of this nature would provide a basis to ascertain the progress of DAC technology development.

Authors: Yuki Ishimoto, Masahiro Sugiyama, Etsushi Kato, Ryo Moriyama, Kazuhiro Tsuzuki and Atsushi Kurosawa

FCEA Working Paper Series: 002

SSRN: 2982422

June, 2017

International Governance of Climate Engineering: Discussions of climate engineering (CE) governance stand now at a crucial juncture. While the CE research community’s ideas about governance have become increasingly sophisticated and specific over the last half decade, they have by and large not been translated into actual governance mechanisms. This working paper summarizes the main points of agreement among major reports on CE governance and lays out some major open questions. This paper also surveys those reports with a view to helping readers understand each report’s distinctive features and major recommendations regarding CE governance. View the reports reviewed in this paper.

Author: David Morrow, FCEA Faculty Fellow

FCEA Working Paper Series: 001

SSRN: 2982392

June, 2017